Friday, June 20, 2014
Mystery Date on Piñata Records
I still love that single from Real Numbers on Floridas Dying. It must have been one of the first on that label…or the first I remember coming across, at least before the Total Punk offshoot label started anyway. Weirdly enough I'm going over the press release for this one by Mystery Date on Piñata Records and it turns out Johnny Eggerman who's on guitar and vocals played bass in Real Numbers and I almost missed it. I hope those guys are still at it and in the mean time this single isn't terribly far off from that angular minimal stuff from the Buzzcocks to The Embarrassment.
A-Side's "You and Your Sister" works with a scale of blunt chords from the lower end of these garage gutters working their way to the top in a jolted staircase. This feels a lot sparklier and dense then the Numbers; the same frantic delivery but going full pop, like Jeff Novak, his way that you can trace the result from the no nonsense Dictators sound and The New York Dolls. This is taking a lot of those same cues from late '70s punk all the way to no wave Devo, going heavy on backup 'ooooo's' behind Johnny's vocal. The whole thing is suspiciously bouncy and optimistic there's no irony or wink here just hard working playing it straight pop punk. The only thing that throws me is the lyric 'You're the only girl I want' when this track is titled "You and Your Sister". He might not be being straight with one of them if you know what I mean.
B-Side "Lightspeed Romance" opens on scratchy guitar barres with the guys counting down to this raw slippery electric line, proof that a trio like this is the perfect configuration to pull of the highest level of post punk. It truely becomes indescribable at points, the way this works and even gets out of key. It's got it's own internal energy that Johnny doesn't even try to harness, he's right up into the mic but like Paul Westerberg isn't overly trying to add emotion to this. I especially love the crazy watery chorus backup vocal response to the main lead. They even have time
for a single note, one at a time, crackly solo. Perfect bass line tempo and texture on this, not to mention the drums which have been perfectly solid and loose. It reminds me of So Cow's "Girl Racer" just one of those gifts that as soon as you hear the chorus rising out of that progression you have to know how special it is right away. Literally on the strength of that track I bought the rest of his full lengths at a show. Lightspeed Romance is the reason for this single and definitely a full length. "The One That You Really Want" comes in with a straightforward enough big guitar chord that quickly gets chopped off at the knees, somehow leading you in one direction and then slamming the door shut like a wrong speed Elvis Costello track in swift uses of melodies within a sin gel verse. This turns into some kind of blue collar Replacements track with the same kind of disregard for what anyone else is doing, seriously carving out a very precise track for themselves. You don't deserve three tracks and honestly this last one literally surprised me. After Lightspeed Romance this one is almost too much. It's getting me nostalgic for the other perfect singles you find with incredible tracks on one tiny record, it feels like a discovery.
GET THIS ONE from Piñata Records on black vinyl with censored telegraph inserts that add to the mystery while somehow thanking friends and sort of becoming actual liner notes?